Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Runaway Bride


Whatever happened to compassion? Jennifer Wilbanks, AKA The Runaway Bride, resides in a very Christian community. Her fiancé was quoted as praying to God for her return. It's been reported that they have both abstained from pre-marital sex, as keeping with their religious beliefs. 600 people were invited to the wedding. A big wedding for a small town so I'm assuming most people in that town and on that wedding list share some if not all of Ms. Wilbanks and her fiancé's Christian beliefs. So why is it these people offer no compassion only retribution? They seem to cling too closely to the Old Testament tales of revenge and retribution and not enough to the New Testament and Jesus' tales of forgiveness.
Jennifer Wilbanks was scared to death. She fled from those who love her rather than turn to them for help. I have a feeling she knew there wouldn't be much support for what she wanted, why else do you run from your family?
Poor thing, she had no one to turn to. She did it alone. No friends to support her. Either that or she's a little loopy.
Either way, she's crying out for help. I'm a lapsed Catholic, which, last time I checked, was still considered Christian, and even I can see the woman needs help. So quit blaming her and demanding apologies. Stop threatening to charge her with ridiculous fees. Instead, exercise your Christian beliefs and treat her with compassion and let her recover in privacy from this very public cry for help.
Isn't that what the zealous Christian Right is always saying we on the left lack?

This morning, The LA Times had an article about a Holocaust survivor and an another article about the rise of Neo-Nazi groups in Germany. I couldn't fail but see the irony in the two stories being in the same newspaper. One story dealt with the rise of the NPD, the National Democratic Party, a right winged political group. The group is gaining in popularity among large number of citizens in Germany who are unemployed, lacking in social support and ill educated. They will listen because they are depressed, hopeless and angry and desperate for help, they don't care who it hurts. Desperation does this to people.
The other story was about a Holocaust survivor who after sixty years was reunited with the friend he'd made in the camps. There was a picture of this man's arm with his tattooed number ID. The man's son told how his father never spoke of his experiences until a trip they took back to Auschwitz in the 90's. There his father calmly pointed out landmarks and narrated to them the memories they brought back. There is the spot, "… where there would be shootings," That's where,…"they hanged six mothers who's sons had escaped." This man had lost his entire family. Of the 973 Slovakian Jews on his train, he, "guesses maybe five…made it to the war's end." Yet, after all of this unbelievable horror and the pains we take to make sure it is never forgotten the seeds of Nazism are beginning to bloom.
If this can happen in Germany, a country that should know better than to allow the ground to be laid for another repeat, what would keep it from happening here? Will troops of Brown Shirted soldiers be patrolling us, picking on those who are different from them? It's already happening, only our brown shirts wear American Flags on their lapels and claim to talk to God. Want some proof? In this same LA Times issue is the story of an investigation taking place within the U.S. Air Force Academy looking into charges of religious intolerance. Evangelical Christians, no doubt in a hurry to save their fellow students from "the fires of hell", have been harassing those students who don't agree with their religious philosophies. Christian values my ass.
In America as in Germany, as in any country on this planet, unemployment, slashed social services and a poor education leads to a depressed, desperate and misinformed populous. Differences between people become reasons for hatred; differences between incomes become methods of control. Countries become enemies, wars are created and lives ruined in tragic ways.
The sight of my America flag fills my heart with pride and loyalty but beware
those who wear the mark of the beast upon their lapel. They're the bad guys.